Yesterday I went to an aerobics class. If you don’t know me very well you may be thinking something like ‘You go girl! Work it! Pump it!’ but if you know me you are most likely saying ‘Why would you do that?! I’m so embarrassed for you!’ Because I’m not good at group exercise that involves actual group coordination. And arm-leg coordination. Yoga classes work because whenever I get kind of off track I just say to myself ‘Oh I’m not confused, I’m just following my own body’s voice…errrrrmmmmmm.’
The fact that this Japanese class was taught in Japanese (the nerve of these people! IN JAPAN even!) made my attempt all the more perilous. But I will have you know that I (along with Lindsay and Jinny, two other non-Japanese understanders) were in the FRONT ROW. And we probably blew everyone’s minds. Just saying.
The class itself was kind of a city-sponsored health initiative. And for us it was a community event. Our friend Sachiko enrolled us. Our friend Mayu drove us. And the city of Nikko provided FREE childcare.
A word on the childcare: I walked in, stuck a sticker on my child’s back indicating her name (which took a few minutes to explain to the poor woman trying to write it down) and handed to her to a complete stranger. Some of you might be thinking ‘Get over yourself woman’ but seriously, that’s a leap of faith right there for this mama. I went and listened at the door once, heard the terrified screams of a child that was NOT mine and kind of just let go. When I came back to get her 1.5 hours later, she was sitting quietly by herself playing with some kind of flashlight. So she officially doesn’t need me anymore. I died a little inside.
Before starting the actual exercise portion of the class, we were given a bone density test and a brief women’s health seminar. Now, I’m not saying bone density tests are a competition but they might be…BECAUSE I WON. For my age, my reading was literally off the chart…at least the chart provided by the city of Nikko. And my bone-age according to my numbers put me at like 13 years old. BOOYA. I’m going to bust out a lanyard full of Lip Smackers like the 13-year-old me would have wanted. After my victory, we listened to some information about breast cancer detection, the dangers of smoking, and some other things. But mostly Jinny, Lindsay and I just made up captions to the illustrations provided in our informational booklet. Because we couldn’t understand a g. d. word.
The exercise itself wasn’t as embarrassing as I had mentally prepared myself for. The music was in the 1960s-1980s range. Loved it. The slutty Americans (Hi Lindsay!) dared to wear arm-bearing shirts under our hoodies, but since everyone else was layered like we were heading out to the tundra, we never really revealed ourselves. Following along with the person next to you while always remaining one beat behind is a universal language. A basic knowledge of numbers helped, too. Ichi, Ni…Ich, Ni, San, Shi!
After feeling the burn of many, many squats we did many, many stretches (my favorite part, personally) and rewarded ourselves with lunch at a bakery (think bread, bread, some veggies, homemade yogurt and bread, YUM) afterwards. Carbs for energy people, carbs for energy.
Next week: cooking class. Stay tuned.